Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is originally designed to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness.
Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a type of therapy born from the union of cognitive therapy and meditative principles based on the cultivation of mindfulness.
- Cognitive therapy aims to help clients grow and find relief from symptoms of mental illness through the modification of dysfunctional thinking (Beck Institute, 2016).
- Mindfulness can be summed up as the practice and state of being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions on a continuous basis (Greater Good Science Center, 2017). Mindfulness means awareness, of what’s happening both in the inside and outside world (Prof Mark Williams). It takes this awareness as it is, without attaching any value judgments to it.
The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship to them.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme is based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) eight-week program, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Research shows that MBSR is enormously empowering for patients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for psychological problems such as anxiety and panic.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy grew from this work. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale adapted the MBSR program so it could be used specifically for people who had suffered repeated bouts of depression in their lives.
*This program is approved for Skillsfuture funding in partnership with Emerge Performance. T&C applies.
*Discounts available to MBSR Alumni. T&C applies
Does MBCT work?
The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for prevention of relapse in depression. Research has shown that people who have been clinically depressed 3 or more times (sometimes for twenty years or more) find that taking the program and learning these skills helps to reduce considerably their chances that depression will return. The evidence from two randomized clinical trials of MBCT indicates that it reduces rates of relapse by 50% among patients who suffer from recurrent depression.
Can I learn MBCT if I am not clinically depressed?
Yes. You can benefit from mindfulness practices whether you have a specific problem or not. All of us experience times in our lives when we are faced with challenges, stressors and struggles; and for some of us this is practically a daily experience.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is one tool that can help us learn to recognize and understand patterns of our thoughts and feelings and thereafter making a distinct change in our lives by creating new and more effective patterns.
When we practice mindfulness, we are developing greater awareness to ourselves. This can open us to seeing how the mind becomes entangled in and blinded by its own liking and disliking, pursuing and rejecting when we try to maximize our happiness.
Mindfulness enables you to see with greater clarity how you may approach your moment-by-moment experiences skilfully, taking more pleasure in the good things that often go unnoticed or unappreciated, and dealing more effectively with the challenges you encounter, both real and imagined.
Mark Williams talks on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: